So I want to start thread about about how to do good / ok looking terrain fast. While I'm doing maps I want that terrain looks "ok" but I don't want to spend huge amount of time for it. At the moment I want to focus on triggers, data and gameplay experience. We all know that we can spend endless amount of time to make terrain perfect.
I'm not really experienced terrainer but these are my basic rules for terraing:
Choose 1 main texture (Mar Sara Sand)
Choose 1 texture that you use to make your first selected main texture to look better (Mar Sara red rock, what was exact name(?) Use airbrush at value 130. Use Shift-key while painting. It helps to remove multiple layers of texture. 1 main texture + 130 value second texture looks good in many tilesets.
Choose 1-2 textures to use in some smaller areas. (Mar Sara dirt)
Choose 5-10 "Envinronent" doodads and place those round the map
Choose 5-10 "Props" doodads and place those round the map
Choose 1-3 "Structure" doodads place those round the map
Do you have any other tips? Or how you do terraining fast? Keep in mind that I'm talking this at newbie level and lets say that you use less than 10 hours for terraing 144x144 playble map. For example giant rocks look really good but those cause problem with pathing. Maybe less than 5 hour?
I don't really have any rules beyond "does it look decent?", but here's a sample of my process (Sample map made specifically for this post, took about 15 minutes).
Basically, I use a lot of Unifom + Smooth on my height brush to quickly sculpt the landscape (and only use Blizzard cliffs for very specific features like chasms), then texture it appropriately, block off the pathing on my cliffs and add doodads/foliage where needed.
An easy way to cheat the eye to make a terrain look better than it is is to mess around with lighting. Changing specularity and bloom values are two things to change if you want it to look fancy with little to no effort, it won't actually make your terrain fancy, but it will fool the average person.
In my opinion, anyhow
(Although, depending on exactly how the terrain is from the start it will have varied results. Polish a rock, and it's still a rock)
Arh I was actually making a video regarding this subject, I have finally returned to my computer after half a years break and I still see shitty terrain, it is rendering now.. so at some point when my pulse modem uploads it in a couple of hours, ill post video, that is textures atleast. Shows how you can easily texture a 144x144 map in under half an hour when you got the hand of it.
I might just do that.
I could use some help actually knowing what people are lacking when it comes to terraining, so if anybody got a suggestions on what they are having a hard time dealing with like: Hard to make / Takes to long.
Then I'll gladly make a video on how to do stuff quick and effective, but not really sure what people lack ^^
I am decent at melee maps if I want to be. If you want I can post a few pics of my process if you like. It usually starts with 1/4 of the map and cliffs. After you have 1 or 2 starting bases that are about equal in size what you want to do is add some noise and doodads. On a Blizzard melee map, every doodad is copied and pasted onto the other 3/4 of the map. A grove of trees outside base 1 = they will also be outside of base 4. What you don't want to do though is make all textures at this time. Make some textures like paths where units will walk heavily but do not finish textures until the map has been copied and pasted. Next what you do is you copy 1/4 of the terrain so you now have a place to put the next doodads. You probably won't be able to put them in the exact locations but if you want to be exact you can use the x and y coordinators and rotate it around so it goes in the next spot. Making it as close as possible without doing this should be fine though. Next copy that and now you have the finished map base. Then touch it up with noise and height variation. If you want you can add height variation before copying the map. You can also finish up with textures now. Yet again you can add all textures before copying if you would rather not have any work after the map has been copied. Then you place units like Xel Naga towers and starting locations. Then add minerals and you should be done.
Personally I suck at making expansions or mineral areas though.